PBL: Critiques and Questions


  • Real-world: I have seen real world projects in action, and they have the ability to affect students in new and positive ways that connect in school literacies two out of school literacies.
  • Transformative: I remember when I was teaching middle school, there was a definite transformation that students went through. In fact, almost every girl in seventh grade before exhibitions, which ran from October through March and ended with a national history Day competition, cut her hair into a more grown-up luck. It was one of the concrete hallmarks of transformation during the exhibition season.
  • Authentic: I just completed my dissertation on authentic learning, and project-based learning digs into authenticity even more than authentic learning days. To have an actual and real life experience is much more meaningful than to turn something into the teacher.
  • Real Audience: when students have a real world audience, it makes them perform at higher levels.
  • Making things “Authentic” can be a daunting task!
  • Contacting outside experts is challenging in the best cases, but with PBL, there is more work involved.
  • Preparing experts is a separate challenge.


  1. What is one project you want to try in your own classroom?
  2. Connecting this to a real-world experience is a challenging task, especially when considering career integration. List 2-3 sources who you can call tomorrow to make a connection.